Vint Cerf: Cap Inhibits Innovation

Vint CerfVint Cerf practically invented the Internet. So when Vint professes on Internet issues, you’d best pay heed.

Here’s what he told the Greensboro News & Record when they asked him about the TWC  broadband cap proposal:

“The cap is a serious issue for Greensboro,” says Vint Cerf, a senior executive at Google who is known as the “Father of the Internet” for his pioneering work as a network engineer. “It will inhibit innovation. People will cut back on usage and become afraid to try new applications. It will be a terrible drag on new entrepreneurial services, and that’s got to be exactly the wrong thing at a time when we’re trying to stimulate the economy.”

(Greensboro, N.C. is one of four cities identified for TWC metered broadband trials.)

Read the full article here: Time Warner plan could throttle economic development

Higginbotham: $24.59 to Watch “Twilight”

Twilight DVD box

A lot of people have been pointing out the absurdity of the TWC plan by providing concrete examples of how much various activities would cost. I’ve been doing that too. In most cases we’ll take the $1/GB cap overage charge and calculate the costs for watching a movie, playing a game, etc.

One possible critique of this analysis might note that these charges won’t apply to people that stay within their cap. You only get hit by overage charges when you go beyond the allotted amount. (I don’t totally agree with that critique. I think people want to know this information to assess the cost risk when they bust their tier.)

Today, Stacey Higgenbotham posted a shrewd analysis that asks what are the costs for people that stay within their caps. That is, she calculates the cost per gigabyte for people who do not run into overage charges.

The results there are even more disturbing:

Time Warner’s price per GB for its proposed tiers ranges from 75 cents to $15 (unless you max out the overage fees on the 100 GB per month tier and default into unlimited service for $150). This means the bandwidth for “Twilight” would cost between $2.85 and $20.60. After adding in the $3.99 rental fee, the evening at home costs between $6.84 and $24.59.

This analysis shows that a TWC customer could pay as much as $24.59 for a single viewing of “Twilight”. This compares to $5.36 for AT&T, $4.64 to $6.19 for Comcast, and $3.99 (the cost of the movie alone) for Verizon (the only “optical fiber to the home” solution surveyed).

Read the full article here: The Metered Broadband Math: As Much As $24.59 to Rent “Twilight”

SA Express-News: CenTex Delay Due to Customer Backlash

texas100On April 9, TWC announced that the dates for two Central Texas trials (Austin and San Antonio) would be slipped several months to October.

In an article in yesterday’s San Antonio Express News, a TWC spokesperson confirmed that the delay was in response to local backlash from the metered Internet proposal:

A trial program intended to charge varying rates depending on usage was slated to begin this summer. The decision to delay the meter program was prompted mostly by customer reaction, said Gavino Ramos, Time Warner’s vice president of communication for South Texas.

“What happened as we’re continuing to listen was we worked in some of the comments and ideas that got sent to us,” Ramos said. “We came to the realization, let’s do this in October.”

Read the full article here: Time Warner delays meter program

BREAKING: Radio Coverage Today

Omar Gallaga, technology culture journalist for the Austin American-Statesman (blog) and the NPR All Things Considered radio show, has just made a blog post saying that the TWC broadband caps will be covered in his radio show segment today.

Last night, I sent a short list of questions to Time Warner for a piece airing today on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (which I’ll link when it’s available), but was told that the answers to my questions were not readily available and couldn’t meet my deadline. Maybe we’ll hear more later this week.

The show will air locally today on 90.5FM KUT, and will be posted later to the NPR web site.

So that’s the scoop … reported in a blessedly exclamation-point-free fashion.

See the full post here: Post-Easter Time Warner Cable update

10:44pm Update: The radio segment has been posted online here: Internet Bandwidth Hogs May Soon Pay For It

We Are Live

Thanks to all the people who have responded to the call for support and suggestions, and helped bring this web site live. The big day is here.

Some of the people who provided very helpful assistance over the weekend are Kedron, Adam, Jason, and Juliette. Thanks folks.

If you have an RSS newsfeed reader (hint: all modern web browsers do!), then subscribe to our newsfeed to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

If you are a member of the press, let me know (info [at] austinbroadband [dot] info) if you’d like to be added to the media contact list.

Download the press statement here.

Hello World

Last Wednesday, I appeared on 91.7FM KOOP radio to discuss the Time-Warner Cable metered Internet plan. I promised to post information about the resources I mentioned during the show.

At the time, I envisioned a quick blog post with a bunch of links. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized we really need a place to collect news and information for concerned broadband users in the Austin area.

Thus, the Austin Broadband Internet Center web site was created. I hope you’ll find it a useful resource. For now, the site will focus on the Time-Warner Cable metered Internet proposal, because that’s currently the most significant broadband issue in the city.

I’ll be continuing to work on it over the weekend so expect significant disruption. So for now, it’s in secret stealth mode and you are my beta tester. Please don’t tweet or publicize the site until it launches. The official launch will be Monday, April 13.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact: info [at] austinbroadband [dot] info